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Bebop Spoken There

Benny Golson: "Art is a lifetime commitment." - (DownBeat August 2018.)

George Wein: "The musicians backstage at the Newport Festival said she [Marian McPartland] is more advanced in her harmonic structure than all the other piano players put together." - (DownBeat August 2018.)

Submissions for review

Whilst we appreciate the many emails, texts, messages and other communications we receive requesting album/gig reviews on BSH, regrettably, we are unable to reply to all of them other than those we are able to answer with a positive response.
Similarly, CDs received by post will only be considered if accompanied by sufficient background material.
Finally, bear in mind that this is a jazz-based site when submitting your album.
Lance

Posting a comment

If you experience any problems posting a comment, as I understand some readers are, then email it to me direct, stating which post your comment relates to - lanceliddle@gmail.com. Alternatively, try the Anonymous button but please sign your name!
Apologies for any inconvenience, this is due to circumstances beyond my control.

Today Sunday July 22

Afternoon

Musicians Unlimited - Park Inn, Park Road, Hartlepool TS26 9HU. Tel: 01429 233126. 1pm. Free.

Music by the Sea Jamboree - Jackson's Wharf, The Highlight, Hartlepool TS24 0XN. 4pm. Free. Hosted by the Mick Donnelly Academy of Music.

More Jam - The Globe, Railway Street, Newcastle NE4 7AD. 3:00pm. Free.

Auld Man’s Baccy - Tyne Bar, Maling St, Newcastle NE6 1LP. Tel: 0191 265 2550. 4:00pm. Free

Doggone Daddies - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 3:00pm. Free.

Jazz Social - Charts, Quayside, Newcastle NE1 3DE. 3:00pm. New weekly jam session.

Somethin’ Blue - Vesuvio, 3a Houndgate, Darlington DL1 5RL. 5:00pm. Tel: 01325 788564. Matt Case (saxophone) & Mike Hepple (guitar).

Zöe Gilby Trio - Blackett St., Newcastle NE1 7BS. 3 x 30 min. sets (11:30am/1:45pm/4:30pm). Free.

Jazz - Spanish City Plaza, Whitley Bay NE26 1BG inc Rendezvous Jazz (11:00am); Riviera Quartet (2pm).

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Full Americana program.

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Evening

Lickety Split - The Globe, Railway Street, Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:30pm. £6.00. (£3.00. student).

Left Hand Lewis - Prohibition Bar, Arch 3, Brandling Street, Gateshead NE8 2BA. Doors 7:00pm. Free.

To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

Darlington Jazz Festival: Jazz Comes to the Quakerhouse - May 5

(Review by Russell)
Saturday afternoon at the Quakerhouse pub is a well-established session at the Darlington Jazz Festival. The CAMRA award-winning hostelry is home to Darlington Jazz Club’s bi-monthly gigs making it a home from home for organisers and regulars alike, the one difference being that the festival session takes place in the downstairs bar rather than in the upstairs room. The format is simple; squeeze in three sets (‘squeeze’ being the operative word) in the compact space at one end of the bar, plug in and play.

Graham Hardy Trio
Graham Hardy (trumpet, flugelhorn); Dean Stockdale (piano); Mick Shoulder (double bass).
Tyneside-based trumpeter Graham Hardy arrived in good time for a one o’clock start. A trio is the optimum number given the restricted space and joining Hardy for a set of forty-five minutes or so were pianist Dean Stockdale and bassist Mick Shoulder. First, Cotton Tail with Hardy’s flugelhorn, then again on If I Should Lose You – typically assured, lyrical, playing.  Mood Indigo heard Hardy on plungered trumpet before returning to flugel to play In a Mellotone alongside a Mick Shoulder solo with our bassist singing to himself as is his wont. More muted trumpet from Hardy on Benny Golson’s Whisper Not as Dean Stockdale played a relaxed, restrained, solo. Stockdale featured again on Blame it on My Youth and in no time Graham Hardy’s set wound up with Tom Harrell’s April Mist.

Emma Fisk & James Birkett play Venuti & Lang
Emma Fisk (violin) & James Birkett (guitar). (Pictured above)
Joe Venuti and Eddie Lang probably played many a juke joint not dissimilar to the Quakerhouse. One room, alcohol the main attraction, perhaps conversation, musicians all but incidental, typical working conditions for the legendary duo some ninety years ago. Fast forward to 2018, one room, alcohol an attraction, perhaps conversation, the musicians anything but incidental, rather the main event. Emma Fisk (Joe Venuti) and James Birkett (Eddie Lang) held court, the room crowded, the jazz of the highest order. Their programme centred around the Venuti-Lang recording partnership, including sides by the Blue Four.

Sunday opened this Saturday afternoon set, Cheese and Crackers followed (Emma observing that nibbles didn’t appear to be on the bar…they weren’t), then a Venuti-Lang duo recording titled, wait for it… Sunshine! Darlington on a bank holiday, doors open wide, endless sunshine, jazz…perfect.

Emma’s commentary noted one of the non-Venuti and Lang numbers in the set – Sweet Georgia Brown. Everyone knows the tune including non-jazz fans and the Quakerhouse barflies, standing, or sitting, where they always stand or sit, became instant fans of Emma Fisk and James Birkett. A one set performance doesn’t allow for too many tunes but time enough to fit in I Found a New Baby and an early Venuti-Lang duo recording (1926), the saucily titled Black and Blue Bottom. You know it’s time to go when the brilliant Fisk-Birkett duo go out on Lady Be Good. Brilliant, always brilliant!

Pocket Jazz Orchestra
Mark Toomey (alto saxophone); Paul Donnelly (guitar); Jeremy McMurray (piano); Peter Ayton (bass); Paul Smith (drums)
How do you fit five musicians into a crowded space, crowded when three are on the stand? With difficulty, that’s how. This is jazz, and where there’s a will, there’s a way. Fisk and Birkett made a sharp exit leaving the way clear for a five-strong Teesside orchestra to set up and start more or less to time. The Pocket Jazz Orchestra is an established five-piece band based on Teesside. A gig up the road in Darlington was on the doorstep and all five musicians have played many a gig, upstairs or down, at the Quakerhouse.

It was a case of introductory solos all round as the Pocket Jazz Orchestra opened with Stella by Starlight – Mark Toomey’s alto hewn from Charlie Parker’s granite monument (there must be one somewhere!), the classy guitar playing of Paul Donnelly, the torrent of notes comprising Jeremy McMurray’s trademark style, the five-string bass of Peter Ayton and in-the-groove drumming by Paul Smith.

A bossa-like intro to Nature Boy developed into a feature for Paul Donnelly. The Wes Montgomery influence became evident as Donnelly stretched out with piano, bass and drums backing as altoist Mark Toomey sat contentedly, listening intently. Toomey himself stepped up to play a quote-laden On Green Dolphin StreetBye Bye Blackbird and Surrey with a Fringe on Top two of many tunes referenced by the altoist – and Donnelly followed up, without quotes.

Pianist Jeremy McMurray took his share of the solos, Ayton and Smith weren’t left out of things but it was either Toomey or Donnelly who shared the spotlight. The setlist was familiar, no bad thing at a free admission festival session, and on this sunniest of days, the Pocket Jazz Orchestra elected to play Work Song.                                   
Russell

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Bebop Spoken Here -- Here, being the north-east of England -- centred in the blues heartland of Newcastle and reaching down to the Tees Delta and looking upwards to the Land of the Kilt.
Not a very original title, I know; not even an accurate one as my taste, whilst centred around the music of Bird and Diz, extends in many directions and I listen to everything from King Oliver to Chick Corea and beyond. Not forgetting the Great American Songbook the contents of which has provided the inspiration for much great jazz and quality popular singing for round about a century.
The idea of this blog is for you to share your thoughts and pass on your comments on discs, gigs, jazz - music in general. If you've been to a gig/concert or heard a CD that knocked you sideways please share your views with us. Tell us about your favourites, your memories, your dislikes.
Lance (Who wishes it to be known that he is not responsible for postings other than his own and that he's not always responsible for them.)
Contact: lanceliddle@gmail.com I look forward to hearing from you.

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